Various Artists: Almost Famous: Music From the Motion Picture (20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) (UMe) – review

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various artists

Almost Famous: Music From The Movie (Super Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition)

UMe

Sep 09, 2021
Web exclusivity

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“Every time the bus pulls away as Led Zeppelin’s ‘Tangerine’ plays like the ending… it crushes me a bit,” notes Jason Lee, who played Stillwater frontman Jeff Bebe in the film. Almost known. “All of my favorite scenes in the movie are due to the music played there,” says John Fedevich, who played Stillwater drummer Ed Vallencourt. “America by Simon & Garfunkel when Anita leaves the house, and especially the scene where Stillwater arrives in New York in a limousine and ‘Misty Mountain Hop’ is playing, that’s really cool! “

These are among the memorabilia of the cast and crew included in Almost known: Film Music (Super Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition), reflecting how the actors are as passionate about music as the characters they have played. Fans of the film who share these feelings about how music connects them to the experiences of young music journalist William Miller (after those of writer / director Cameron Crowe), “Band-Aid” Penny Lane, and the group Stillwater, can deepen in a full Almost known immersion with this set of 5 CDs (also available in other configurations, including vinyl).

A denim-style notebook covered in band names and doodles (as you see at the start of the movie) opens with extras like concert ticket replicas, a Stillwater poster, and newsprint Rolling stone issue which includes the full cover story of William Miller’s Stillwater. The set’s book contains photos and memorabilia of the cast and crew, as well as Crowe.

While the visuals throughout are a treat, the records offer a deep dive into the sounds of Almost known to live. For a key soundtrack in a rock band movie, the Super Deluxe Edition extends it on three CDs, where the listener can hear the entirety of the songs of artists such as Iggy & The Stooges, Jethro Tull, Joni Mitchell, The Who and Led Zeppelin, as well as performances of Stillwater, original music by Heart’s Nancy Wilson, memorable spoken word clips from the film (“Someday You’ll Be Cool,” says William’s older sister, played by Zooey Deschanel), and the tour bus version of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” with Stillwater and the actors singing.

In addition, there is a six-record disc of Stillwater, unreleased demos by Nancy Wilson and Peter Frampton, and unreleased behind-the-scenes jams. Hearing tunes from a fictional band is a particularly unique experience, and the book’s notes go back to the work involved to see that Stillwater had an identity and was a credible entity deserving of public attention. The ensemble also devotes a disc to the original score and excerpts by Nancy Wilson.

Far from the pleasure of watching Almost known, the Super Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition takes you back to the sounds of the early ’70s and hits the road with Stillwater and friends. It’s about as close as you can get without a seat on the bus. (www.udiscovermusic.com)

Author’s Note: 8/ten

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Average reader rating: 6/ten


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